Have you tried everything to lose weight? Maybe you started out dropping the pounds with ease, but now you’ve hit a plateau? If the answer is “yes”, this article is for you. It’s time to check you’re not falling victim to these weight loss pitfalls.
1. You’re not sleeping much
In today’s modern grind culture, ambitious men wear their lack of sleep like a badge of honor. It tells the world you’re out there working harder than anyone else. When the rest sleep, you succeed.
Experts believe that a lack of sleep increases your likelihood of obesity by 55% (3). They say that anything below seven hours starts to spark these changes too.
First of all, poor quality sleep can increase your appetite. When you don’t get enough rest at night, hunger controlling hormones become unbalanced. The Leptin that make you feel full drops off, while Ghrelin the hunger hormone increases (4).
Lack of sleep hikes up your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can also trigger your appetite (5). Plus, reward receptors in your brain are more stimulated by food when you’ve not slept enough, making your more likely to overeat (6).
These are just handful of the many reasons why a lack of sleep is holding back your weight loss. So, if you’re serious about becoming leaner, hit the hay a little earlier.
2. You’re not tracking calories
Say you’re getting a solid eight hours of shuteye every night. You’re hitting the gym a minimum of four times a week, but you’re still not losing weight. What’s going on?
Maybe you’re not tracking calories. Either that or you’re forgetting to weigh, measure, and input your food properly.
To burn body fat and lose it for good, you need to be in a negative energy balance (7). This is when you’re eating fewer calories than you burn in a day or a week.
When you’re in this negative balance, your body needs to find fuel from somewhere. So, it starts to unlock fatty acids from your fat cells for energy.
If you’re not tracking calories you could unknowingly be reversing this negative energy balance. Even worse, you might be undoing it entirely, and eating more calories than you need.
Use a calorie tracking app to stay on top of everything. Yes, you can enjoy your cheat meal on Saturday, but everything else needs to be monitored. It’s always worth the effort.
3. You’re not eating fat burning foods
One thing that can speed up weight loss is eating the right foods. More specifically, you’re looking for those with a high thermogenic profile.
Put plainly, thermogenic ingredients boost your body temperature, and in turn increase your natural calorie burn. Your body simply needs to use more energy to return to normal. They also influence how well your body breaks down fat cells for fuel.
Protein is one of the most thermic foods on the planet. So much so, that a high-protein diet is a great way to speed up your metabolism. It’s also proven to increase satiety too, meaning it helps you stall fuller for longer (8).
Have you ever eaten a chili pepper and noticed the heat surge under your skin? It’s not just your tongue that catches fire after tucking into a hot, spicy chili. That’s because capsaicin, the active ingredient inside them that makes your mouth burn, is a potent thermogenic (9).
Capsaicin often added to high-quality fat burner supplements in the form of cayenne pepper for its thermic effect. For example, Instant Knockout, which was created to help professional MMA athletes make weight without losing muscle, uses it as a key ingredient.
You can see more of the potent thermogenics Instant Knockout employs examined in this review: https://www.greatestphysiques.com/reviews/instant-knockout-roar-ambition-review/. You might even recognize some you use already like caffeine.
Bottom line – Try thermogenic foods to give your fat burn and metabolism an edge.
4. You’re not exercising enough
We all know you should exercise to stay healthy. It’s pretty much essential for accelerating your weight loss efforts too (10).
Yet, for whatever reason, we can always find reasons not to do it.
It could be that you’re too busy with a big project at work. Maybe you have family obligations, or you simply can’t find the time when you get home.
If that’s got you nodding your head, you need to try this – work out during the cracks.
Turn a short twenty seconds into a squat session when you head to the coffee machine. Take fifteen minutes extra at lunch to go for a run or hit a set of pull-ups every hour. There’s always time to exercise if you want it enough.
Now, this is the most obvious one, but be assertive about your time. Say no to more things so you can respect your body and train it to become leaner, fitter, faster, and stronger. People respect a man who knows how much his time is worth.
Separating four hours out of your week to workout isn’t really that much. Make your sessions streamlined and based on intensity. Sprints over five-kilometer runs, MetCons over bodybuilding. Squeeze every last drop out of that hour and watch the results stack up.
5. Your cheat meal becomes a cheat day
While this might seem obvious, it’s one of the most common pitfalls for dieters. You work so hard Monday to Friday that when the sweet taste of Saturday rolls around it’s impossible to stop.
Cheat meals are pretty standard in modern fat loss methods. Studies say they can help reset your Leptin hormones, and act as a great motivational tool (11)(12). After all, it’s much easier to stick to Thursday’s calorie count when you’ve got a planned pizza in two days.
But, if your metabolism isn’t exactly burning like a wildfire or your deficit isn’t big enough, a whole cheat day can undo all your hard work. Because like we looked at earlier, if you eat too much, you’ll wipe out the negative energy balance you created.
If you’re finding yourself looking at the clock at midnight with a bare refrigerator and empty food wrappers everywhere, you might have found your answer.
Next time, take a final bite from your cheat meal, savor the taste and texture, and then push the plate away. Drink plenty of water and look to occupy your thoughts afterward with a positive, fun experience. Try to find another way to reward yourself other than food.
Don’t panic if you’ve been making any of these five mistakes. Progress is all about recognizing problem areas and making the appropriate changes. Start to make a change today, and reap the reward tomorrow.